For the fourth and final feature in our Anti-detox series, we turn the clock back to a specific moment in time; an iconic era of just a few years that’s still talked about today.
As soon as you say the words “swinging 60s”, people know exactly what you’re talking about. The sights, sounds and debaucheries that it conjures are timeless. If you play a little word association with yourself, it doesn’t take long to build up a list of actors, bands, movies and well known faces that immediately spring to mind; Michael Caine, Twiggy, Carnaby Street, Jean Shrimpton and The Kinks – the names just keep coming.
In our tech-friendly, music streaming, disposable celebrity 2016, the pure energy and style of swinging London takes on an almost mythological quality. Fashion, culture and liberating attitudes to sex; there was nothing this defining decade didn’t affect. Suddenly, the youth demographic had a voice and that voice became part of mainstream popular culture. It was a seminal era in British history.
From mod to psychedelic, music was at the forefront. From the mid-60s onwards, bands like Small Faces, The Who and of course The Beatles became poster boys of style and attitude. From Carnaby Street to Kings Road in Chelsea, you could shop to look like your idols and then hang out in your latest wears – the streets of fashionable London became a hedonistic catwalk for the everyday wannabe. These were the early days of street style.
That’s where Ben Sherman’s story really began. In that mid-to-late 60s melting pot of music and fashion, the brand became synonymous with the mod movement. The original button-down shirt was part of the uniform; its sharp lines and distinctive sartorial features were the perfect fit for mod styling. That’s why, even now, the Ben Sherman shirt is regarded as a timeless garment, forever linked to swinging London and the 1960s – an icon of men’s style.
With the history and heritage of Swinging London in mind, our designers developed The Spring/Summer 2016 Collection; a homage to the roots of the brand and to 1960s Carnaby Street. Here’s a few selected pieces for your perusal.